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Client Q&A: Diane McCracken

"In the first year, we paid off $63,000 of debt, increased our income 30% and reduced expenses by $30,000 a year."

Diane McCracken
Business Owner
Media, Pennsylvania

Q: What was your life like before coming to First Steps To Success?

Our household was…well, we were just “there.” Before coming, my husband and I had a meeting with our kids about separation. We were not only drowning in debt…we were deflated, our tires were flat, we were going nowhere. There was no love in our house, at all. I worked 12-16 hours every day, my husband worked. We didn’t see each other. I would wake up at 7 am and go to bed at midnight.

I told the kids – “I just want you to know this is not love, this isn’t good. We don’t know how to fix it. It’s better for us to be separate, so we don’t hurt you.”

At that point, my desire as a mom was for my kids to grow up in a castle, to be brought up to be queens and princesses… with a “royal” mindset. I wanted to give them the best of everything and set them up to be wildly successful. But, I kept hitting constant dead ends.

Q: What made you decide to go to First Steps To Success?

A very close friend invited me to attend a First Steps To Success event being held in St. Louis. I went to the website and this woman is screaming at me, people are talking about success and I was confused… although my friend highly recommended it, what I saw didn’t look at all like my friend.

Then, one of my business partners went to that event. Afterward she called me and asked if I had some time. I had an hour, so she came over and put in a CD. Immediately, I could tell something was just different about her, so we listened to it.

After hearing that CD and seeing the change in my friend, I went to the next First Steps To Success in July 2011. At the time, we had no money, no credit and used our frequent flier miles to get there. I had not even thought about how we were going to pay for the hotel or anything like that. We just went.

Honestly, at my first event I sat with my arms and my mind crossed, thinking there’s no way I will ever learn this stuff. Everything she talked about was the opposite of what I’ve worked so hard for. But, Dani said give me a year of your life. I knew what I was doing wasn’t working. I’d worked really hard at something that was just not working.

Coming to, I learned it’s all about skills and laws, and I had to decide if I really wanted to learn it.
So, I called my husband and said “I need money to buy the whole library.” He said we didn’t have the money…but we always seemed to find the money. My car engine had just blown up and we found $6K to fix it. And, he found the money for me to buy the whole library of products. I listened for 12 hours a day for 3 weeks straight and it was like life coming back into me. It was putting air back into the flat tires of my life.

Q: Why do you keep going back?

I went to Creating A Dynasty and Hans (Dani’s husband) said – “Dani says give me a year of my life, but I say give me 5. What if you really learn this and apply it and let it work in your life?” And someone from our family has been represented at every event for the last 3 years.

I think it’s being able, and in some cases being willing, to unlearn everything you know. Because what you know is not fulfilling, is not working, is not getting you where you want to go. I have goals that are inside of me and I can say after 3 years, I’m moving toward those goals. It gives me comfort to know I’ve made progress in every single area of my life!

Q: What has surprised you most about First Steps To Success/

Something that has surprised me is how I’ve begun to really care about other people. It is still a little weird to me to care about other people. There are children around the world – it’s not on the front page that these children are starving or in the sex trade or being persecuted because of their faith or in an orphanage. There are widows who don’t have anyone to take care of them.

I see a lot of people who care about animals. I had turned my heart off to humans and turned my heart to my critters because my critters didn’t talk back or hurt me. But to learn how to love people far exceeds loving an animal. I really think it’s cool that Dani Johnson teaches us to take care of people who are forgotten. You’d think that would be done in a church, but I never learned how to take care of an orphan in a church.

Q: How has your life changed?

My husband and I are best friends. We really enjoy each other in a totally different way. We care about each other, encourage each other and are there to support each other the way we did in the beginning of our marriage. And, our children are honorable, children who are learning they were meant to be set apart and different. Our family is completely different. We now have a road map for the future.

In the first year, we paid off $63,000 of debt, increased our income 30% and reduced expenses by $30,000 a year. I didn’t even know we were overspending by $30K a year! We have paid off over $180K of debt. Who else is teaching you that? Who else is teaching you to save?

I don’t live in the past anymore. I now live in the hope of the future, pushing, pushing, pushing forward to that future, being diligent and persistent. It’s all about surrounding yourself with people who are going somewhere.

My advice to anyone,: keep plugging in, start from the ground floor and learn the skills and the laws. Learn what makes people successful. For us, it’s about belonging to something that brings life.

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